France to phase out C-160 Gabriel SIGINT aircraft early

by Jean-Marc Tanguy

The French Air Force will phase out its two C-160 Gabriel SIGINT aircraft in 2022, three years ahead of schedule. (Armée de l'Air/Olivier Ravenel)

The French Air Force will phase out its two C-160 Gabriel signals intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft in 2022, three years ahead of schedule.

This is linked to the phasing out of the C-160 Transall, on which the Gabriel is based. Two C-160s were modified and fitted with mission equipment from Thales before entering service at the end of the 1980s.

They participated in the 1991 Gulf War and in all French overseas operations since. In recent years, they have operated against the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq and against IS and Al Qaeda in Sahel. They also regularly operate close to Russia. The aircraft were to be phased out in 2026 and 2028, respectively, until the 2018 announcement of their phase out in 2025.

Their replacement, the Archangel, a Falcon 8X extensively modified by Dassault Aviation, is not expected to be delivered before 2026 at the earliest. Three aircraft are to be delivered by 2030.

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MASA clinches further SWORD contracts, integrates with SitaWare

by Giles Ebbutt

A screenshot of course of action analysis in MASA's SWORD constructive simulation software, showing probable casualty rates and ammunition expenditure over time and equipment status resulting from a particular plan. (MASA)

MASA has recently been awarded several contracts to supply its SWORD command and staff training (CAST) constructive simulation, Janes has learnt.

The most recent contract, worth “more than” EUR1 million (USD1.05 million), is with the Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire to supply a system capable of providing training up to brigade headquarters level. Marc de Fritsch, MASA managing director, told Janes that this “is a very important contract for us as it is the first large system we have supplied to this part of the world, and has been a straightforward commercial agreement; the French government has not been involved”.

The system will be installed at a training centre near Yamoussoukro. Although most exercises are likely to be conducted at the level of battalion and below, brigade-level exercises will be possible, de Fritsch said. Delivery will commence before the end of 2022, the first exercise will take place in mid-2023, and the system will be fully operational by the end of that year, he added.

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Gurutvaa Systems ramp up Dronaam C-UAS deliveries to IAF

by Amit Kalra

Gurutvaa Systems has started bulk deliveries of its Dronaam C-UAS (pictured above) to the IAF. (Gurutvaa Systems)

Indian company Gurutvaa Systems has despatched the first bulk production lot of its Dronaam counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Speaking to Janes on 24 November, Sandeep Dawkhar, vice-president of Gurutvaa Systems, said that the first lot of Dronaam C-UAS was recently despatched. He added that prior to the despatch, a team of officials from the IAF's Directorate of the Air Staff Requirements approved the C-UAS production lot at the company's facility in Pune, Maharashtra.

This delivery formed part of an undisclosed number of Dronaam C-UASs ordered by the IAF in August 2021, Dawkhar said. He added that the recent despatch was the first time that deliveries were carried out in bulk quantities.

According to the company, Dronaam is an indigenously developed C-UAS, effective at disrupting the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) navigation and jamming radio frequencies of rogue UAVs.


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Norway to procure new artillery location radars from Thales

by Olivia Savage

Norway will acquire three Thales GM200 MM/C radars (pictured) as part of an ongoing government-to-government agreement with the Netherlands. (Thales)

Norway will acquire three new mobile artillery location radars from Thales under a government-to-government deal with the Netherlands.

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (FMA) has signed a follow-on contract, valued at NOK460 million (USD45.8 million), with the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) for an additional three Thales Ground Master 200 Multi Mission Compact radars (GM200 MM/C), the FMA announced on 23 November.

The initial contract for five Thales GM200 MM/C radars, with an option for three more systems, was announced in May 2021. The contract was valued at EUR77 million (USD79.6 million), with deliveries scheduled by 2023–24.

In total, eight radars will be delivered to the Norwegian Armed Forces for just over NOK2 billion, with deliveries expected by the end of 2025, the latest announcement said.

Future radar acquisitions from other NATO countries are permissible as part of the Thales Nederland and Dutch DMO agreement. To that end, several NATO countries have expressed an interest, the FMA said.

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